1) Yes, the tests will look different than they previously looked. Wording has been updated, the question banks have been expanded, layout has been made more clear, features have been added, etc...
2) The calculations when running a "Growth" report may come up inaccurate, or not at all. This does not mean that we can't compare growth from fall to winter or spring. What it does mean is that we may need to hand calculate the growth from fall to winter/spring using the fall raw score and the most recent score from a student.
3) Comparing student performance levels is STILL accurate. The updated version of the testing software has not changed where a student falls in terms of Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, or Advanced. Where students fall in regards to these bands are still accurate and calculations can be made from fall to winter/spring in determining percentage of students advancing from one band to another.
4) When looking at individual students, the Progress to College & Career Report is still likely the most valuable report. The report has remained the same as in the past, the only addition to the report is wording of the name "College & Career". These were added to the name because as part of the updates, the test was expanded to included higher level math skills to help determine College & Career readiness.